Columnists

Thu
21
Apr

Al Everson: Remembering Danny Gainin

Danny Gainin 

BEACON FILE PHOTO

With this piece, I mourn the passing of someone I have respected and admired for years: I was saddened to learn earlier this week that Danny Gainin is no longer in the world of the living.

For me, a child of the ’50s and part of the Peter Pan generation that told each other and ourselves we would never grow up, it is quite sad to see the fixtures in one’s life being taken away with the passing of time. 

The people we looked up to and counted on for support in times of crisis, and for celebration in times of joy, are dropping around us. Although they have no eternal life in the here and now, it is still difficult to see them pass as time accelerates with our aging. 

So it was with Danny Gainin. I knew he had been ill, but I did not expect to see him leave so quickly.

Tue
19
Apr

Al Everson: A question in Time + 50 years

Al Everson

Did I miss something? To my knowledge, practically no one called to mind the 50th anniversary of a journalistic and cultural milestone.

I refer to Time's April 8, 1966, edition, whose cover broke the magazine's precedents with its stark, black field contrasted with the words "Is God dead?" in hellish red print.

It was quite a cover for a widely read publication that had adorned its fronts with pictures of prominent people or events or art highlighting political and social trends.

The cover story dealt with the God-is-dead movement in, of all places, major American seminaries. Theologians and their disciples were turning away from the faith that had brought them to those halls of holiness.

Tue
19
Apr

Kate Kowsh: Let’s face it - plants hate me

Kate Kowsh

Kate Kowsh is the web/social media manager at The West Volusia Beacon.

I'm not entirely comfortable with sharing this, but I might as well face the facts. Plants hate me. And, I hate that they hate me. 

See, I think the world of them. I read all about the pest-shooing qualities of marigolds and citronella, and I “pin” potting ideas for healing herbs to my Pinterest board on a somewhat nightly basis. 

The 6-foot-long windowsill in my kitchen is lined with potted basil, thyme, dill and rosemary. 

I've even consulted with a master gardener to learn how to keep black spots off my flowering plants. To the outside world, I'm a stand-up gardener. 

Tue
19
Apr

Russ White: Balancing the needs of society and the needs of the individual

Russ White

Our system of elections is the method by which we, as a society, set our priorities. The party that controls Congress and the presidency has control to set those agendas.

Possibly the greatest responsibility of our government is creating the rules and regulations that govern how the economy will run and ensuring that the gross domestic product is maximized and allocated in the manner that best serves the needs of our society. Our two-party system tends to turn that process into a confrontational, winner-take-all melee, often to the detriment of the society as a whole.

Thu
14
Apr

Letters to the Editor: On Cuba journey, Starbucks confessions and more

Letters to the Editor

Clint: Just stay home

Editor, The Beacon:

Mayor Johnson seems to like vests. I hope he likes the kind that float.

This PR stunt, complete with backing by a suntan-lotion company, is not so cool. As a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard, I have spent much time in the Florida Straits between Key West and Cuba. I have been part of more rescues of migrants than I can count. 

I can recall picking up desperate people, young and old, from all walks of life, fleeing a brutal dictatorship and harsh conditions. As a young man, I did not fully understand what could be so bad so as to make humans take this kind of risk. After all, I grew up in the land of plenty.

Now that I am older, I understand better the price of freedom and the greatness of this country. It's a lucrative draw.  

Thu
14
Apr

William C. Hall: Doomsday

William C. Hall

The following data is from a United Nations environmental study: There are now 7 billion people on our planet, and we are adding a net 1 million additional people every 4.8 days!

Before 1950, no one on Earth had lived through a doubling of the human population. Today, 7 billion people inhabit the planet and consume far more of Earth’s resources than my grandfather could have imagined!

Wed
13
Apr

Letter to the Editor: 2015 Glamour & Gore a success

Letters to the Editor

Editor, The Beacon:

The numbers are in: The Rotary Club of DeLand’s third annual Glamour & Gore Halloween event held in October 2015 made a profit of close to $40,000 for the needs of the local community. The event was held in Downtown DeLand’s historic Artisan Alley. Rotary supports End Polio Now, as well as local community programs and charities, on an annual basis.

Rotary Club members spent many long hours working to ensure the Glamour & Gore fundraiser would be the success that it turned out to be. The co-chairs wish to thank each Rotarian who served on the event subcommittees. These members put a lot of time and energy into their assigned areas.

Wed
13
Apr

Democrats want to make illegals into voters

David Rauschenberger

If you doubt that our republic is being destroyed by President Barack Obama and his ilk, read the April 6 Drudge Report headline “Obama Claims Power to Make Illegals Eligible for Social Security, Disability.” Obama’s above the law. Our Constitution matters not. This is the change he promised, comrades.

Democrats call it “prosecutorial discretion.” I call it ignoring the law to forward an un-American ideology.

Wed
13
Apr

Oligarchs control America’s electoral process

Russ White

It is one of the worst-kept secrets in the world that the rich have access to accommodations and advantages not available to most people. The latest scandal, called the “Panama Papers,” just shows once again the degree to which this is true.

The release of more than 11 million pages of documents — about the secret offshore accounts that shield large amounts of the wealth of some of the world’s movers and shakers — has opened a can of worms. It shows the degree to which those at the top of the food chain are able to hide their assets and avoid paying their fair share of the burden of operating nations and economies around the world. So far, there has not been much in-depth information about Americans implicated in the data dump, but I suspect that will change over time.

Mon
11
Apr

Kate Kowsh: Need some good karma points?

Kate Kowsh

Kate Kowsh is the Web/Social Media Manager at The West Volusia Beacon

Sitting in the principal’s office at Edith I. Starke Elementary School in DeLand a few weeks back, my mind began to drift. Principal Dwayne Copeland was talking about how much of a kick some of the students got from a beach field trip not too long ago, and added that, in spite of living so close, some of those students had never even been to the beach.

I was at Starke that morning to interview Copeland on how he and the school staff were faring after news broke of the state socking them with an F rating. The conversation turned to some of the challenges he and the school staff face while trying to equip their students with the skills they’ll need to compete in the world of the future.

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